A Package of Deception

True story: In my early years writing comics scripts, I realized that I could sell more work to smaller companies if I put together the “package” of the script + artist + letterer + colorist. I started getting really good at discovering quality artists trying to break in whom I could coach and nudge to professional level.

At one such publisher, I’d submitted a couple of stories with sample art, for which the editor called me saying, “These are great! Let’s start with these! I need to contact the artists to send their contracts and tax info, and we can get these projects going.”

The next I heard, those artists were busy on other, unrelated projects for that publisher but my contracts and script checks never came through. After dodging me for nearly a month, the editor finally answered and gloated, “I never even read your scripts, but I sure am impressed with the artists you find. They’re all I wanted! Send me more!” He laughed and hung up.

Experiences like that tailored my next few years and led into becoming a publisher and, later, as an agent with a much different arrangement with the artists, which involved clear contracts and commissions. My “superpower” of discovering, training, and building careers for artists has kept me going strong as an agent for nearly 30 years!

And yes, the artists I discover still draw my scripts.


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